What’s With the Toothpicks?

Updated on May 10, 2019
kenneth avery profile image

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

I’m not Trying to Scare you

but if you look close enough, you will almost-instantly notice a toothpick laying so graceful and somehow, precarious in the right-hand side of a man’s mouth. Do not ask me what significance a toothpick holds when it comes to real life. I wish that I had a Ph.D in Social Behavior—then I would be glad to share this knowledge with you.

Did you know that the toothpick which was made for ONE reason that was for the owner to use to remove the food bits that had lodged in his teeth? That was the primary (and only) reason that toothpicks survive. I would wager that you have a nice decanter of toothpicks in the center of your dining room table. The perfect conversation piece or maybe the ideal ice-breaker.

“Hi, Marge. Ohh, what a cute toothpick holder. Where did you get it?” “Janet,” the best friend asks.

“Ohh, thank you, Janet. I picked that up at Shine-Ola’s Jewelry last week,” “Marge” replies and thus begins a long and happy friendship. All because of that $3.55 that “Marge” bought strictly on a whim.

Who was Behind the Toothpick

and why should I tell you? Henry Petroski is to be credited for inventing (what really amounts to) to a sharp-piece of wood about two and half inches long and shaved to a nice touch to the mouth where it rightly belongs. I never found out how much Petroski was awarded in monetary amounts, but I can wager that he never had to work again.

FACT: right now there is around 25 million toothpicks either sitting on a nice decanter (thanks to “Marge”) in any given time. And these toothpicks do not sit around idly getting fat. No sir. When a diner finishes his or her meal, the accepted manner of checking the teeth is with a nifty toothpick, certainly not the patron’s fingers. How backward.

But did you also know that during the evolution of the toothpick that began in some lumber company’s warehouse, the lowly toothpick has changed drastically, but the change only added to it’s value. Besides helping teeth to be clean, toothpicks have went to Hollywood and joined an Elite Group of celebrities who not only know all about toothpicks, but the toothpick turned into a fashion plate making the celebrity to be cooler than the average film star.

While I admit that Sylvester Stallone, the star of Rocky I-V, who also starred in Cobra as Lieutenant Marion Cobretta, let a toothpick dangle in the right side of his mouth. I found this amazing because in the high-octane fight scenes, Stallone’s toothpick never hit the floor. But my question was, did the toothpick make Stallone’s character the cool police officer who didn’t fear man of beast? I will leave this question for you to answer.

Scott Hall, once a super-star pro wrestler in the WWE as well as World Championship Wrestling once owned by billionaire, Ted Turner, always carried a toothpick and when he went into the “squared circle” to wrestle, he would always flick his toothpick to the audience and this one move went on to be Hall’s signature move.

Other notable celebrities who have held a toothpick in their mouth was: Brad Pitt; Humphrey Bogart; Glenn Ford; Steve McQueen; Robert Mitchum and others, so you see that the toothpick, although a silent ally and good prop, made the entertainment company his own territory. And now the truth is known, so the next film that you see and then see one of the stars who holds a toothpick, you will think of this hub.

And When Toothpicks Evolved

from being a stick hanging from someone’s lips, I am sure that the toothpick guru, Henry Petroski, must have had a lot of high thoughts because he knew then that the toothpick, if not changed, would be boring and the millions of Toothpick Lovers would be looking for something else to take the place of the toothpick.

Then, and just when we thought that the toothpick was growing passe,’ the sharp-thinking Toothpick Manufacturers of America, invented a delicious toothpick that was made that tasted peppermint, apple and spice. And then the toothpick was just as popular as it ever was. I think that the powers-that-be who came up with flavored toothpicks, are to be given a lot of credit and a hefty raise.

Personally, over the years, I have failed at keeping a toothpick in the right side of my mouth, but ever so often, I would bite down and a little material from the toothpick would drop to the ground. And while I worked, and my biting continued, the toothpick was thrown away. This made me sad.

In closing, I never mentioned that the toothpick has always had a tough nemesis who was ready on every hand to try and steal the toothpick’s popularity—and without any further thinking, I give you the Kitchen Match. A foe to toothpicks and cannot be messed with because we could get burned if we try.

May 10, 2019_________________________________________


Scott Hall, WWE,WCW pro wrestler used his toothpick to give him a rough image.
Scott Hall, WWE,WCW pro wrestler used his toothpick to give him a rough image. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Kenneth Avery

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image

        Kenny Avery 

        2 months ago

        Hello, Liz -- thank you for the warm comment. Of course, toothicks are a mainstay in our country, but sadly, down-played for some reason that I do not know about.

        All I know is that toothpicks do play an important role in society.

        Have a safe and happy night, Liz.

        Write me anytime,

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        The toothpick has not been as big in the UK. Though now you mention it, I do recall seeing it occasionally in films from the USA.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)